Las Vegas shooting: Judge orders MGM Resorts to maintain evidence

A memorial for the slain victims of the Route 91 Harvest music festival mass shooting rests near the historic Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Photo by Ronda Churchill/UPI

Oct. 20 (UPI) — A judge issued a restraining order preventing MGM Resorts from destroying evidence and cleaning up areas involved in the Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting that killed more than 50 people.

The temporary order, issued Thursday, compels MGM, which owns the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where Stephen Paddock shot at concertgoers, to retain any evidence related to the Oct. 1 shooting.

The order would effectively prevent any cleanup from happening by MGM, KLAS reported.

Brian Nettles, an attorney representing recovering shooting victim Rachel Sheppard, asked for the restraining order to preserve any key card records, surveillance video, radio traffic, or any other evidence related to the shooting. He said, as of Wednesday, that Paddock’s room at the resort still had biohazard material lying around and a broken window.

“This is about answers, it’s about changing the way that we do things in this country, and that these hotels in these events protect their guests,” Nettles said, according to the Review-Journal.

He’d like potential evidence to be protected.

“Our concern is that before the discovery period starts, something bad could happen. That something could be altered, something could be destroyed,” Nettles said. “They said in court today, they’re already looking at fixing or changing that room.”

Lawyers for MGM Resorts countered that the order was unnecessary because the hotel was already preserving evidence for law enforcement.

A utility box is covered in messages near a memorial for the slain victims of Las Vegas mass shooting. Photo by Ronda Churchill/UPI

One of the next pieces of evidence investigators hope to examine is a nearby airport’s giant fuel tank that Paddock shot, the Review-Journal reported in a separate article.

Law enforcement said Paddock fired at the tank from his 32nd-floor suite, managing to penetrate one of the tanks. Experts concluded it would have been virtually impossible to ignite the jet fuel with rifle fire.

On Thursday at the Orleans Arena, the newspaper reported 7,000 people attended a benefit concert called Vegas Strong: A Night of Healing to honor first responders and victims of the attack.

Singer Sierra Black and country pop group Rascal Flatts entertained the crowd that included 3,000 first responders.

“Tonight is all about you, all about the first responders,” radio personality Ransom Garcia told concertgoers.


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